McGeeney provides update on Armagh’s injuries

Despite having a full panel to pick from for most of the season, Kieran McGeeney still has a few injury concerns. Conor O’Neill was stretchered off during Saturday’s five-point win over Westmeath, having kicked a point just beforehand.

Rian O’Neill, who missed a large chunk of the league, didn’t feature at all against Dessie Dolan’s side. O’Neill’s Crossmaglen clubmate James Morgan hasn’t played at all this season through injury.

Morgan’s last game in fact in the orange and white was against Westmeath in last year’s All-Ireland series opener. An injury picked up that day, as well as a subsequent surgery, has seen him sidelined all year.

“Losing Conor, he has ruptured his Achilles, that’s a big blow and he has only come back,” said McGeeney. “We got a lot of knocks and bangs, there was a couple of big hits but that’s the way these things go.

“Andrew (Murnin) was hit hard, and the ball was already away but that’s sport, I suppose you have to put up with these things. Rian took a knock on his calf last week and he just couldn’t get going at all, so it wasn’t worth the risk for us.”

Rian O’Neill

On Rian O’Neill, the 2002 All-Ireland winning captain isn’t sure if he’ll be back for Sunday’s Derry clash. “It was fatigue and then he hurt his calf,” added McGeeney.

“Rian is a serious individual, like the Mackins and the (tough) people of this world, he tends to play through hard knocks. You try to get him to understand that he’s human.

“He pushed himself to the limit against Donegal, but it was probably too much, and we should have had him off a wee bit earlier. He played against Down, but the Donegal game was a different kind of pace. I’m hoping he’ll be there.”

Morgan is a while away however and despite a couple of cameo appearances for Crossmaglen, the 2009 All-Ireland winning minor has had a few setbacks.

“He’s had a series of unlucky breaks,” added McGeeney. “Like Rian, he’s a tough man and he wants to get back and he pushes himself too hard at times and he breaks down.

“It’s not for the want or desire to get back, sometimes when you’re that type of character you have to put the reins on him but we’re hoping you’ll see him but it’ll be a long journey for him, he’s not back really full running yet.”

Photo Credit: Ulster GAA